It was just a few weeks ago that I shared our unschooled version of a seventh-grade-ish curriculum plan for 2012-13, and in it, I happened to mention we'd probably read some biographies this year.
We started with a biography of Sitting Bull, part of the Sterling Biographies series I keep saying I love.
Then we read the Jim Thorpe biography in the same series, and that night, when I asked Sarah what she wanted to read, she wanted to start with the Neil Armstrong biography (another Sterling gem!) that she just checked out from the library.
FUN FACT: Neil Armstrong got his pilot's license before he got his driver's license!
Well, after we read the introduction and first chapter of that one, I asked her if she'd like me to read anything else.
After rummaging around for a while on her bedside bookshelf, she found...
Disclosure: This post has some affiliate links, which will make me a little bit of money if you choose to purchase any of the products I've mentioned through them. I only link to things we legitimately use and recommend, so if you see such a link, it's because we really do believe in the book or item!... a 1950s hardcover biography of Leonardo Da Vinci that my amazing husband had dug up for her at some used book sale or another.
We started reading the first chapter of it, and I was amazed at how much Sarah remembered from the Da Vinci exhibit we saw during last year's visit to the Franklin Institute.
It turned out that not only did we read the first chapter, we talked about everything from his inventions to the Mona Lisa to that fact that "da Vinci" means "from the town of Vinci," which, as it turns out, applied to Leonardo's family.
FUN FACT (or, uh, opinion?): Our favorite da Vinci invention is the mechanical lion bearing flowers, which is pretty much the most amazing thing ever.
The coolest thing is, these biographies are teaching all of us, across so many areas of traditional curriculum. We've got history, science, social studies, reading, vocabulary, sports, art and more.
Sarah would have had a biography unit this year in public school. That's not why we're encouraging her interest in them, but it's certainly an interesting chance to reflect on how homeschooling has provided us with so much freedom - and how, when Sarah is invested in her education, she'll dig deeper than she ever had a chance to in a public school setting!
What else is Sarah reading?
Life of Fred elementary series, "Life of Fred: Dogs." Now we're into "Life of Fred: Edgewood."
If you had EVER told me that Sarah would ask me, routinely, to read one more chapter of a book that's more or less about math, I'd have laughed hysterically.
Now, I'm just thrilled. Sarah even used the phrase, "WHEN we get to the Calculus book in the series...," and it's possible I might have gotten almost teary-eyed.
She's also reading Treasure Island for free through the Google Books app on her new phone - something she figured out on her own that she could get for free and enjoy!
What's the rest of the family reading?
My mom and I have been enjoying some medical thrillers by Michael Palmer - The First Patient, The Fifth Vial and A Heartbeat Away - all courtesy of our local library.
I've started a couple of Bible-reading plans through the YouVersion Bible app on my phone - after being encouraged by Sarah to make use of the app, which I'd downloaded ages ago and never bothered much with! (If you use YouVersion, I'd love to hear your recommendations out of the many reading plans!)
And my husband, Chris, just bought 25 boxes of used books for his online bookselling business - and I'm sure he'll be reading some of them before they're listed for sale!
What's your family reading? I had previously tried to start a family reading roundup link-up, but I'm pleased to say that the lovely ladies over at Christian Unschooling are doing one each month now that I'll be supporting instead!
So, if you have a post about what you've been reading, please go share it!